PetNet TV to Sic Digital, On-Demand Carriage

Pet owners may soon have a channel to call their own.

A cable advertising and promotion company plans to launch PetNet TV for both digital-basic and on-demand platforms later this year.

American Ingenuity Inc. -- which has developed on-air promotional campaigns for such programmers as Turner Broadcasting System Inc., Discovery Networks U.S. and National Geographic Channel -- is preparing to unleash a PetNet TV on-demand service this fall, with the full-fledged digital service slated to bow at year-end, according to network president Jeffrey Grimshaw.

Other start-up animal-based networks, like The Puppy Channel, have failed to gain traction. But Grimshaw believes PetNet TV will appeal to a significant portion of cable’s subscriber base.

With more than 400 million pets in the United States and more than 100 million pet owners -- or one out of every two U.S. homes -- Grimshaw said the network is targeting a very large and virtually untapped niche.

PetNet TV’s programming will revolve around health, instruction, entertainment, shopping and news. The network even plans to present a block of programming dubbed “Playtime and Relaxation,” which could feature a bird’s eye view of a live fish tank or parrot cage. “It’s everything imaginable for pets and pet parents,” Grimshaw said.

He noted that the ad-supported network has yet to approach operators about carriage, although he believes the value and breadth of the potential audience -- consumers spent $35 billion on pets and related products last year -- and its willingness to work with operators will garner significant distribution opportunities.

“It’s going to be whatever the industry will yield,” he added, declining to be more specific about its rate card.

Along with original programming, the network will offer an online-shopping element.

For more on PetNet TV, please see R. Thomas Umstead’s story on page 16 of Monday’s issue of Multichannel News.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.